morello159 Reader
10/1/19 7:24 a.m.

Hey everyone

I'd ask this in an F150 forum but I trust the people around here to give more solid scientifically based answers. About a year ago, I bought a 2018 F150. XLT 302A, 2.7, super crew short bed, tow package and 36gal tank. 2wd because there's nowhere in the south I would want to take a full-size truck offroad, and I like fuel efficiency.

My conundrum is this. I love just about everything on the truck, but the factory damping is terrible. There is near-as-makes-no-difference zero roll damping. It's as if the ride and handling engineers tuned the shocks to exactly match the spring rates and forgot that sway bars were a thing. If you go over any sort of offset bump, seam, pothole, driveway, or intersection at an angle, the whole thing rocks back and forth for at least 6 cycles. It's infuriating. 

So, I'm looking for better shocks. I've been spoiled by cars in the past; my last daily driver had Koni FSD (I guess they're called Special Active now) shocks on it, and they were magical. Koni Sports before that, also awesome. Unfortunately, Koni doesn't make the FSD for my truck, and most of the big names don't sell something for the 2015+ 2WD trucks (Fox, Icon). I'm also not particularly interested in raising the front end or jumping the truck. I just want a properly controlled ride. Falcon makes a "tow/haul" shock/strut/bumpstop kit for the 2WD trucks that looks promising - does anyone have experience with this brand? I'm hesitant to throw Bilstein 5100's at it because they just seem stiffer. 

porschenut Reader
10/1/19 7:55 a.m.

Put bilstein 4600s on my silverado, used mostly for towing a travel trailer.  They are a little stiff when empty but great otherwise.  And that is on crappy PA roads.

jimbbski SuperDork
10/1/19 10:45 a.m.

I have a 2013 4X2 F-150 and I went with Bilstein's in the rear. I haven't replaced the fronts yet as I want to lower the truck and Bilstein doesn't make a shock that will work with a lowered suspension in the front.  The rear shocks did improve the ride but I can't really say how they would work in the front. Based on my history of installing Bilsteins on other vehicles I've owned I have never found them to be less than an improvement over OEM shocks or struts.  

codrus UberDork
10/1/19 11:58 a.m.

I also went with Bilsteins on my Chevy -- huge improvement but I bought the truck with 130K on it, so I don't know what the originals were like when new.


ebonyandivory PowerDork
10/1/19 9:42 p.m.

You’re gonna get a lot of Bilstein responses. I’ll add to that as well.

NoviceClass New Reader
10/2/19 12:27 a.m.

Put me firmly in the Bilstein camp. 

I put them on every full size truck I have ever owned, and have always thought it was a huge upgrade over any other shock. Current set has about 100k miles on them, thinking of replacing the fronts, the ride is getting a bit unsettled on the interstate.

morello159 Reader
10/4/19 9:19 a.m.

Yes, I know bilstein's are the go to answer..  Does anyone have any experience with the 6112 vs 5100 series? 

ultraclyde PowerDork
10/4/19 9:41 a.m.

I'm in kind of the same boat here. I've been thinking of swapping the factory shocks on my 65k mile '13 FX4, but again, not sure I want the Bilsteins. One of the things I like about the truck is the comfy ride, even with E-rated AT tires. I'd like more controlled damping but don't want harsher ride, which I think is called having cake and eating it too. I've read a few highly negative forum reviews on the Bilstein harshness, despite a lot of people happy with them. I've looked at the stock-type KYB replacememnts but I can't find any real reviews.

I wouldn't be against lifting the truck an inch or so, and there are some socks with slightly better ride reputations in that area, but you're also talking $1200 for shocks at that point, which is painful.

Anyway, interested to see what you come up with on yours, or what people suggest.  You might want to browse around stage3motorsports site, they've got a pretty comprehensive listing and have run most of the stuff in the real world. 

morello159 Reader
10/4/19 9:51 a.m.

I just shot a note to the stage 3 guys, their videos are helpful but basically all say "these are good" without any point of comparison. Cost isn't even as big an issue to me. I just want to know that they'll fix the problem I'm talking about. 

You can have your cake and eat it too, it's called Ohlins DFV or Koni FSD. Basically something that filters out high frequency inputs (bumps and potholes) but not low frequency (turns). Unfortunately neither of those options are available for the F150 :( In the mean time, I would be happy with some more low speed rebound damping. 

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